Category Archives: Editorial

General Editorials or Opinions on kart racing related subjects

BBQ Event at BlueMax Kart Club featuring the TrackMagic Owners Group and the Norcal Shifter Karters

Today’s track day and write up is brought to you by TB Kart USA.

Today I spent time at the BlueMax Kart club in Davis, CA. A few key people organized a great non-racing event filled with good memories, great food, and a lot of laps followed by smiles. For me, I wasn’t apart of the organizing or set up and I was planning on breaking my package in. I wasn’t able to prep properly and have my TB Kart and Honda CR125 ready, but I went out anyway to enjoy the community.

I’m so glad I made it out there. For those that know me, I love food. “Big Rich” Bacchi of Trackmagic lore was on hand with a TrackMagic crew. He brought to the party a platter of beef brisket and pork ribs and a delicious sauce to top it off. I was a bit disappointed that we did not discover this guys talent for cooking during the SKUSA ProTour prime era of the late 1990’s to early 2000’s, OR the TrackMagic team tent kept this guys mad food skills under wrap. Either way, I tried Rich’s BBQ for the first time today and I went back looking for more ribs, but they were gone. If you are curious about his culinary skills, go visit his shop in Pacifica, Gorilla BBQ – Pacifica.

I haven’t seen Rich in a long time, so it was great catching up. A couple of other guys that I haven’t seen in awhile were Damon Meek, factory driver from the CTS shifter efforts, and George Barros from the dominant TrackMagic era.

I was able to corner both of them in between their track sessions to do a quick interview. You can listen on our page by clicking podcast on the page menu or click each link below.

Damon talked to me about 80cc and Norcal, his favorite Norcal Kart Track, and shared a driving tip. Full Damon Meek interview can be listened to right now.

George Barros is someone I’ve known about before karting. He was my driving instructor at the Jim Russell Driving School in 1994 at the Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey. What kind of driving instructor makes you lose your lunch in the famed corkscrew or e-brakes a rotating slide entering turn 11 (in a POS Passenger VAN!!) George shared a few fond memories, a couple of thoughts on karts vs cars, and his favorite Norcal Karting tracks. Full George Barros interview can be listened to right now.

I tried to drag Jon Ban into an interview, but he said he didn’t want to be on live video stream. I said, “No problem, its all audio”. I was denied a second time around.

Why did I want to interview Jon Ban?

Simple, over the past few years he has been a very integral part of promoting local Norcal Karting, and more specifically the shifter segments. He shares events, coordinates with other drivers, and helps bring the shifter community together. He focuses on the 80cc platforms, which are still everywhere in Northern California, just not at our tracks. One day, he might warm up to the idea of being the face of Norcal Shifter Karts.

Today, I posted a few live audio and video broadcasts on facebook. For easy access I have linked them all here.

After seeing the atmosphere and good times today at the track, there will be a renewed effort by myself, Norcal Karters, to help promote and organize more events like this. In all honesty, I don’t know if this will help grow race participation, but I’m 100% convinced, these events will help grow our great sport. Many people I spoke to had various reasons for no longer racing, some personal, some financial, many time commitments to the actual process of racing, but do we need more people racing right now?

I don’t think so, but we need more butts in the seat on any given day. None of these drivers raced today, but they all had smiles on their faces. They all said it was a fun event.

Isn’t that what we need in our sport?

Briggs and Stratton LO206 Annual Budget

Huge Disclaimer – This budget projection is based on my personal experience as a racer and also as someone familiar with running race teams. This budget will only focus on a local club series of 6-8 race events for the year.

This annual budget for a single club series assumes you already own your karting equipment. With the Briggs and Stratton LO206 division, you could spend as little as $1000.00 for a used turn key kart that may need some updates to compete and up to $6000.00 for a new current technology chassis and engine package. Once you purchase the kart, you can amortize your expenses or costs based on your preference.

I’m not here to sell you on how cheap racing is, I’m here to give you information so you can make that decision. If there is a range of cost, I will use the higher cost for this article.

Most local Norcal kart clubs charge 45-65 dollars for an entry fee. Some of the clubs include the transponder for timing, some charge an additional fee of up to $20.00. This would give a non-club member a entry fee cost of 85.00 per event. Many clubs offer a discount for multiple entered classes by the same driver.

When I participate in the local club series, this is the only money out of my pocket directly to the club. Our local club also uses for event registration. I personally like this feature because I can sign up in advance, put it on my credit card, and show up to the track and just grab my tech sheet and wristband. I’ve been to national karting events and had to stand in line for hours.

The next biggest weekend expense that I have as a club racer is tires. For the club series, I try to go 4-6 races on 1 set of tires. If the class has a low turn out for the day, I will put my old practice tires on the kart, which typically has 6-10 weekends of use on them. So to maximize my tires, I will rotate my old race tires into a practice set, then for the races with large turn out, use the race tires that have less time on them. From my experience with the Briggs 206 package, new tires will not put a back marker on the front row. On our local track of 40 seconds per lap, I’ve found that a new set of tires, when compared to a season old set was worth 0.30 – .50 tenths of a second. So for this article, lets say our set of tires will last us 3 race weekends. At a cost of $220.00, the amortized cost is $73.35 per weekend based on three weekends worth of use.

The next item that is the most initial cost for the weekend is my gas for my transport vehicle and the cost for my kart fuel. Being it is a Briggs, I fill up my truck and kart jug at the same time. During a practice day and a club race, I usually burn between 2-3 gallons of fuel. Being in California, we bend over with no lube for our gas cost, even though we are less than 60 miles from major gasoline refineries. I’m going to use a price tag of $3.50 per gallon at this time. That gives me a cost of $10.50 to fill up my Briggs, you can calculate your transportation cost.

Working my way down the list, the next item is chassis and engine maintenance. For engine maintenance, I serviced my own engine during the past few years. I drain my gearbox oil every weekend at a cost of $10.00. I perform my own valve jobs every 4 race weekends at an approximate cost of $50.00. Chemicals such as cleaners and solvents are also an additional cost which can add up to $10.00-$15.00 per race weekend.

I like to run fresh chains and gears on my kart, so I usually like to change every 3-4 race weekends at a cost of $50.00. For the chassis portion, I usually do an annual tear down after each season. I will replace parts as needed, which does not include crash damage. This annual clean up usually costs me around $100.00.

There are many incidentals that are not included such as batteries for the Mychron, wear and tear on driving equipment and safety gear, food and liquids for the race weekend, amortized transport costs for trailer and / or tow vehicles, track memberships, tools, and other items.

I hope you found this article helpful. Feel free to join in the discussion at KartPulse on this page, Briggs 206 Budget

Recap of the budget per event
– Entry Fee – $85.00
– Tires – $73.35
– Race Fuel – $10.50
– Engine Maintenance – $37.50
– Chain and Gears – $12.50
Annual Cost
– Chassis Tear Down – $100.00

Total Annual Costs for 8 Races – $1850.80

What Fuel Does the Briggs and Stratton Local Option 206 Run?

Question – What Fuel Does the Briggs and Stratton LO206 Run?

Answer – The Briggs and Stratton LO206 engine is designed to run a good quality pump fuel. So, if you are out practicing, stop by your local gas station and fill up a few gallons of regular pump gas.

The long answer will change based on your racing series, rules, etc. Our local club that I participate in does not call out a specific gas for the LO206 engine. It is an understanding that the racers will not intentionally cheat by burning fuels designed to enhance performance, increase your chance of cancer, burn your eyes……. you get the idea. A few people need to be reminded that club racing is designed to keep racing local, cost effective, and most importantly… FUN!

For those that want to cheat their way to a 8.00 dollar trophy, you can’t ruin your fun to stop them.

Now the longer answer. Our local regional KPX series requires a spec fuel. At the time of this article, KPX would select 1 local gas station to the race event. They would call out the gas station and octane rating. The tech officials would also grab samples from stated gas station.

So, short answer, when in doubt, ask your club to be 100% certain. Just don’t cheat!